RC108 SeptOct2023 - Magazine - Page 4
VOLUME 21, NUMBER 5
A NEW AGE
ART DIRECTOR AND SENIOR DESIGNER
Content Contributors: Quentin Chiotti, Vincent
Guglielmo, Richard Lyall,
Tom Mosseau, Jaclyn Squizzato,
Maureen Sullivan, Jordan Thomson,
Jesse Unke, Duncan Williams
by John Tenpenny
FOR MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD I lived 15 kilometres from the Pickering Generating Station,
which came online in 1971. Being a Gen Xer I grew up during the Atomic Age’s
dénouement, as opposed to its dawn—currently being depicted onscreen in
Christopher Nolan’s bio epic Oppenheimer.
Beginning with the creation of the atomic bomb and followed by the construction
of the 昀椀rst nuclear power plants in the late 1950s, this period was full of optimism
around the idea of a future with unlimited clean energy. Accidents, like the one that
happened at Three Mile Island, took some of the shine o昀昀 this idyllic view of nuclear
power. As a result, producing electricity proceeded in di昀昀erent directions, with the
continued burning of coal and natural gas.
We all know the results of those choices, which has been to create a much
warmer planet, with a large uptick in natural disasters such as wild昀椀res and 昀氀oods.
Renewable energy sources have been one answer and their continued use will play a
key role in how Canada reduces its carbon emissions and reaches its net-zero goal.
But according to organizations such as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, reaching net-zero will require
an increase in nuclear electricity generation. There is simply not enough electricity
generation capacity with all the other generation sources combined to meet the
electri昀椀cation demands of the future.
In Ontario, increased nuclear generation has been given priority alongside
renewable energy and other sources such as the Oneida Energy storage project, which
will support the operation of a clean electricity grid by drawing and storing electricity
o昀昀-peak when power demand is low, and returning the power to the system at times
of higher demand.
The province recently announced the start of pre-development work for the 昀椀rst
large-scale nuclear build in the province since 1993.
Bruce Power will start community consultations and conduct the environmental
assessment for federal approval to determine the feasibility of siting up to 4,800
megawatts (MW) of new nuclear generation on its current site.
Federal approval is the 昀椀rst step in a comprehensive process for approving and
building new nuclear power generation projects, which could take a decade or longer.
In the shorter-term, Ontario Power Generation is working to deploy a Small
Modular Reactor at its Darlington nuclear site, the only site in Canada currently
licensed for a new nuclear build. Early site preparation work has begun, and
construction is to be complete by late 2028.
There have always been risks associated with adding more nuclear generation.
During the 1980s I remember my parents keeping potassium iodine pills on hand in
the event of a leak or meltdown.
The risks have lessened, and our understanding of nuclear power and how to
manage it has grown. At the same time, the demand for clean electricity is only going
in one direction—up. There’s no one solution to getting o昀昀 fossil fuels and other
carbon emitting energy sources. Nuclear energy needs to be part of the mix if we are
to meet our net-zero goals.
RENEW CANADA ADVISORY BOARD
Quentin Chiotti, Bill Ferreira,
Mark Gaglione, Richard Lyall,
Louise Panneton, Josipa Petrunic,
Jesse Unke, Duncan Williams
EVENTS & MARKETING COORDINATOR
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